Working at Culture Trip
Walk through the door of a Culture Trip office and your ears will instantly pick up on the diversity of the workforce: you’ve entered a land where no two people share the same accent. (Not even the dogs who meet you at the threshold with the busy, friendly atmosphere.)
Lean in a little closer to the buzz and you’ll hear video producers and photographers brainstorming with marketing whizzes, social media gurus strategising with engineers, and journalists debating with data scientists: people with all kinds of educational and professional experience determined to break new grounds in the tech and media space.
What everyone at Culture Trip does share, however, is a belief: that using technology and creativity to explore and understand differences between people, places and cultures around the world will bring us all closer together.
These are the people who lead the teams that are inspired every day by this belief.
Dr Kris Naudts
CEO & Founder
Born and raised in Belgium, Kris completed his medical and psychiatry training in his home country, with periods of study in South Africa, Israel and the UK, before taking up a post at the prestigious Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, the largest centre of its kind in Europe. An exciting career in academic psychiatry followed, during which he also completed a PhD in neuroscience and assumed the role of medical director at a large private psychiatric hospital in the capital.
In 2011, Kris left the medical profession to pursue his passion for global culture and creativity, and to build a tech company in that largely unexplored space. Culture Trip started as an online bookstore, where users could search for a location and find books and movies by local authors and directors, but once its broader potential became clear, Kris began working relentlessly to ensure that it is realised.
Chief Operating Officer
Jeff studied Electrical Engineering in his hometown at the Rochester Institute of Technology. His first foray into the start-up world was as co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Allworx Corp, a pioneer in the development of VoIP equipment. After it was acquired by a major US network carrier, he lead integration of their product and services. Most recently, Jeff was Chief Operating Officer at Stack Overflow. During his tenure the company grew from a few employees into a profitable company of over 300 people with monthly revenue of several million dollars. Now living in London, Jeff enjoys sailing, hiking, biking and beachy destinations all over the world.
Chief Marketing Officer
Mike’s early career started in planning at advertising agencies, before moving client-side to Sony Electronics and Snapple Beverages. Next he joined CNN's Strategic Integration Group, where he created multi-media content platforms for some of the world's largest brands. In 2009, an invitation to join Facebook's monetization team became an opportunity to build the early teams that grew Facebook's annual advertising business from a few hundred million dollars to over $12 Billion in under five years. Since leaving Facebook in 2014, Mike has worked as CMO and CRO on early stage startups. An avid outdoors enthusiast, Mike can be found in the mountains when he's not working either skiing, mountain biking, or playing golf.
Dr Nick Jakobi
Chief Product Officer
Nick has a PhD in Evolutionary Robotics and worked at several Artificial Intelligence startups before joining Google as one of their first European Product Managers in 2006. During nearly eight years at Google, Nick worked on a number of different products including YouTube, Emerging Markets and Offers. He then joined State, an ambitious new social network which connected people through their opinions rather than who they already knew, and then Facebook in 2014 as the lead PM on the Brand Solutions team. Although great in many ways, Nick yearned for something more worthwhile and creative and in early 2017 started working with Culture Trip to establish a clear product strategy and build out the product, design and data science teams.
Roger wrote his first code on an Acorn Atom in 1981. After studying Mathematics at Imperial College he became a C++ programmer. As a founding member of Symbian, he led development of the Nokia 7650: the world's first smartphone. Since then, Roger has worked in leadership positions throughout the tech stack from silicon to cloud hosting. Before joining Culture Trip, he was at Schibsted media where he built a system to replace their legacy codebase serving 250M daily active users. Roger has lived all over the world and outside of work, he enjoys cooking, cycling and running, although the latter two usually take a back seat to long walks with his dog.
SVP R&D and GM Israel
Passionate about technology, Inbal graduated from the Technion in Haifa, Israel, with a BSc in Information Systems. Inbal joined Elbit Systems as a Real Time Developer in the avionics field, and in her next roles she worked on Big Data environments, implementing machine learning algorithms on distributed systems. Before joining Culture Trip, Inbal has been working as the Vice President of Research and Development for C-B4, a startup which provides predictive analytics solutions. An enthusiastic artist, Inbal hops between painting, sewing, sculpting and many other craft projects. When she isn’t working or enjoying her art, Inbal tries to travel as much of the world as she can and is always thinking of her next adventure.
VP Content Products & Ops
Ben was born and raised in London. After studying Geography at the University of Oxford, he joined PricewaterhouseCoopers where he qualified as a chartered accountant. During that time he worked with a wide range of businesses, from start-ups, to venture capital and private equity-backed clients, as well as large multinational public companies. He brings his client experience across sectors as diverse as Technology, Retail and Leisure and Manufacturing.
Ben has travelled extensively in South America, driven the length of Mozambique, and spent 2.5 months living in northern Thailand. In his spare time he loves watching his beloved Arsenal, spending time with friends and family, and playing any and every sport.
Dr Andreas Gertsch Grover
Head of Data Science
Andreas is originally from Switzerland and moved to London for his PhD in Biomedical Physics developing an imaging system to classify tumours. He then worked optimising energy systems, a social fashion network, cloud infrastructure, and most recently an on-demand delivery service.
At Culture Trip Andreas digs into the data to unearth insights to further improve the content and to enhance the experience of our awesome users. Besides work he likes to train human neural-networks (playing with his young son Waris).
Director of User Experience & Design
After a short stint as a journalist in his native Canada, Ryan got his postgraduate in design before backpacking around Europe. He moved to London to join AOL Europe, eventually progressing to Head of Design, AOL – Huffington Post UK, where he worked on the redesign of the AOL network and launch of Huffington Post UK. Before joining Culture Trip, he was Creative Director for the BBC News UX and Design team, leading a team of designers working on several key, award-winning projects and UX work for election coverage such as the EU referendum. In his time off, Ryan enjoys discovering new restaurants, riverside pubs and stumbling across cultural and design events.
Head of Illustration & Animation
Sam started her career in London working on commercial and editorial production across Animation, Design and Live Action. After living in New York and Los Angeles, she returned to the UK to run the production company Strange Beast, building up new talent across Writing, Branding & Illustration, Film/Content and Interactive. She now lives in Margate with her giant dog, Church, and prior joining Culture Trip she established a local art gallery / photography studio with her partner. She also freelanced at Vice, i-D Magazine, Golden Wolf and Stink Studios, working on brand development and online campaign management.
Born and raised in South Wales, Owen originally left the valleys to become an architect and, after completing his post-graduate, worked as a construction manager and architectural assistant in St Vincent and the Grenadines, Swansea and London. Owen has been a writer and editor for the past ten years and before joining Culture Trip, was editor of It’s Nice That, and held editorial roles at the Architects’ Journal, Icon and Blueprint magazine. In 2012 he was part of the team that represented Britain at the Venice Architecture Biennale and he has written a book about the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. His interests include architecture and design, rugby (especially the Newport Gwent Dragons) and football.
Director of Visual Content
Twenty years ago while backpacking around the world, Mick’s money ran out. He’s worked in London ever since. He studied Economics at Liverpool University and got a sensible job in insurance before giving it all up to be a TV producer. After seven years at British broadcaster GMTV he moved to the Internet, holding senior positions at interactive agencies, MySpace and MSN. Most recently he was Director of Video & TV at Time Inc. UK, making content for brands like Marie Claire, NME and Trusted Reviews. He also built an in-house TV production team winning commissions from BBC3 and C+I.
Paul was born in Wales, grew up in Scotland and has lived in places as far afield as Mexico and Australia, Based in London for the past 20 years, he was Art Editor at ‘Clash’, and freelanced in advertising and brand design for respected agencies such as Wieden + Kennedy, Cheil and Grey London. He also founded his own publication, ‘Special Request’: a critically acclaimed curation of articles from some of the world’s leading authors, artists and photographers. Before joining Culture Trip, he was Head of Creative at Deliveroo, rolling out their rebrand and building global scale. In his spare time, Paul can be found hat shopping, hurtling down snowy mountains, road-tripping through Europe and DJing in bars and clubs.
Born and raised in Scotland, Kim studied Visual Communication specialising in photography at The Glasgow School of Art. After graduating, she spent some time living and working in Paris and Japan before returning home to Glasgow, where she worked as in-house content producer at creative workspace The Whisky Bond, local emporium Roots Fruits & Flowers and the Glasgow Film Festival. Kim has had her work featured in The Guardian, Suitcase magazine and Toast Travels and spent two years creating a travel guidebook, Wild Guide Scotland, published just before she joined Culture Trip in May 2017. In her spare time, she enjoys taking off in her van, walking, photographing and swimming in remote places and spending the afternoon in her local cinema.
Chief Revenue Officer
For the last quarter century, Dick has been bringing emerging media products to global markets. His global chops were honed during an eight-year posting in Singapore for Business Week and CNN and later with MTV Asia. As the first head of global sales at YouTube, he played a key role in developing and driving their sponsorship and media programs and before joining Culture Trip, he was immersed in the VR and AR worlds. Dick has traveled in South America, Europe and APAC extensively for work and pleasure. Outside of work, Dick is attempting to raise four rambunctious children, find time to bike and play soccer (football) and listen to as much jazz as he can.
Andy has spent his career contributing to the development of profitable domestic and global travel businesses. He has been ranked as one of the ‘Captains of the Travel industry’ by ABTA and has extensive leadership, commercial and operations experience acquired with major travel, leisure, technology and retail companies in a local, regional and global capacity.
He started his career at the Rank Group, before progressing with experience in Tour Operating, Aviation and Online Retailing with rapid career development at Cosmos, lastminute.com, Thomascook.com, Expedia/ebookers.com, and the Emirates Group. In his spare time, he is a family man with three children and the manager of the Bromley under 9’s football team.
After studying law in Belgium and Italy, Kathelijne worked as a lawyer in Brussels. Prior to joining Culture Trip, Kathelijne worked as legal counsel at Materialise, a global 3D printing services provider listed on Nasdaq, where she worked on a number of M&A projects and software and technology transactions, and advised on securities laws and filings. In her spare time Kathelijne enjoys travelling, running, swimming, and baking cookies for her family and friends. Kathelijne loves New York for the energy it exudes.
Andy has lived and worked in and around London for most of his life. After studying Law at Cardiff University, he spent a year travelling in India, Nepal, South-East Asia, and Australia, and worked for several months in Sydney. In 2004, Andy joined lastminute.com and qualified as a chartered management accountant, holding various roles in accounting and financial analysis in several brands within the group. Before joining Culture Trip he was European Director of Planning and Analysis, and worked on a number of strategic, M&A, and integration projects. Outside of work, Andy enjoys holidays with his family (and taking too many photos), cycling, learning Spanish, and playing the piano.
Chief of Staff
Born and raised in England, Isabelle's love of literature led her to study English at Exeter University. She joined Culture Trip in the summer of 2015 and after stints in the Editorial and Operations teams, she became Chief of Staff.
Isabelle seizes every opportunity she can to travel, spending time island hopping in Thailand, learning French in Lyon, swimming with sea lions in the Galápagos and trekking glaciers in Patagonia. Outside of work, you can find Isabelle cooking (and eating), watching French films, or in a beer garden in Victoria Park.
Rio de Janeiro
Director of Community
Naomi claims Irish and Greek heritage and has mostly lived in a variety of very cold countries. She completed a BA in International Affairs and European Studies in Brussels before pursuing an MPhil in Race, Ethnicity and Conflict at Trinity College Dublin. She worked in the public sector, for a consultancy and a non-profit before seeking a creative startup to really sink her teeth into. She joined Culture Trip in 2015 in content operations before turning her focus to building a community for its network of talented creators. Outside of work, Naomi loves studying Islam, watching true crime docs and escaping to the country.
HR Operations Manager
Laura started her career in the pharmaceutical industry after studying chemistry and pharmacy in Rome, Italy. She moved to London over ten years ago and built her HR experience in companies of different sectors, sizes and cultures.
Her most recent role was at Amazon where she led several HR transformation projects in the UK Corporate division. Last year, Laura took a career break to move to Singapore with her family where she enjoyed discovering South East Asian culture and food.
In her spare time, Laura enjoys spending time with her family, yoga, live music, cooking, and wine tasting.
Rio de Janeiro